The Nigerian Army says it has arrested more than 40 suspects for various offences within Lagos and Ogun states in a bid to curb crimes in the araes.
Recently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai launched its code-named operation known as Crocodile Smile II covering Lagos and Ogun.
According to a statement by the 81 Division Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Olaolu Dauda stated that, ‘so far, the troops have been carrying out routine activities associated with the exercise seamlessly along with other sisters services, security and paramilitary agencies.
“Some suspected criminals have been arrested. Drug peddlers, cultists, car snatchers and other criminal elements have been denied freedom of action through patrols, raids, roadblocks and checkpoints.
“On Oct. 4, based on credible information on activities of pipeline vandals at Ronik Hotel Agbule Egba area of Lagos state, troops of 149 Battalion, 81 Division Nigerian Army were immediately dispatched for a Cordon and Search Operation.
“The troops arrested the suspected pipeline vandals and items found within the hotel premises include 16 loaded kegs of premium motor spirit (PMS), 5 cars and 2 tankers loaded with PMS,” he said.
He said the suspects have been interrogated, profiled and handed over to NSCDC.
“In a related development, on Oct. 11, troops of 174 Battalion, 81 Division Nigerian Army while on a stop and search operation arrested a car robber who snatched a Toyota Venza with reg no. FST 762 CV along Ikorodu – Sagamu road.
“The suspect who was fleeing with the stolen vehicle rammed into other vehicles and pedestrians in a bid to escape and was arrested by troops.
“The suspect and the recovered vehicle have been handed over to Owutu Divisional Police Headquarters,” he said.
He also said that five drug peddlers were apprehended with gallons of unidentified chemical substances and Indian hemp on Oct. 14 by troops of Sector 5, 243 Battalion at Agbara area of Lagos State in conjunction with men of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“Arrested suspects and items have been handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.
“Similarly, raid and clearance operations were carried out on Oct. 14, by troops of 65 Battalion Sector 1 of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 at Ajah general area.
“Nine suspects were arrested with bags containing Indian hemp.
“Two of the suspects were alleged to have snatched a female purse containing Samsung Galaxy and Itel phones, Bible, house keys and N1,200 which were also recovered,” he said.
The spokesman also said another raid operation was carried out by troops of 9 Brigade Garrison Sector 4 at Ipodo, Ikeja general area where five suspects were arrested.
“Five suspected fraudsters were arrested and items recovered include 4 generators, 4 laptops, a scanning machine, colour printer, 3 stabilizers, 10 ups, 3 car chargers and 16 handsets stand.
“The suspects and exhibits have been handed over to Lagos State Special Taskforce, Oshodi.
“On Oct. 15, the Commander Sector 3 of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 handed over 36 suspects arrested by troops of the Sector during a raid operation at criminal hideouts and notorious drug dens in Ikorodu general area.
“The handover was carried out at Odogunyan barracks in Ikorodu, while the suspects were received by the Area Commander, Nigeria Police Ijede in Ikorodu,” he said.
Daudu also disclosed that four suspected cult members were arrested around Badagry area on Oct. 15.
“At about 11.59 pm, gunmen suspected to be cultists attacked Rolex Hotel in Ajara area of Badagry.
“Following a distress call to troops of 243 Battalion Sector 5 on Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 on activities of suspected cultists, troops responded immediately and arrested 4 suspected cultists.
“Also a follow up to suspected cultists attack, two suspects were arrested in connection with previous attacks at Rolex Hotel.
“The arrested suspects were detained and a preliminary investigation is in progress while suspects would be handed over to relevant security agencies for further investigation and prosecution,” he said.
The spokesperson reassured the public that the Division is poised to maintain peace and security in the entire Lagos and Ogun States.
Daudu enjoined members of the public to cooperate with security agencies by remaining law-abiding and giving credible information to the nearest security checkpoint.
According to him, members of the public can also call 193 and the various telephone numbers that were earlier released